Category Archives: Books

What is Poststructuralism?

My new release first edition Kindle eBook for Academic Bytes.

Poststructuralism is one of the most important social theories to have emerged from Europe in the late Twentieth Century, yet it remains notoriously difficult to define. In this concise introductory text, Robert John Parkes provides: (1) an original and accessible guide to the three orientations that underpin poststructural thought; (2) a brief genealogy of poststructuralism including an exploration of its relationship to the philosophy of structuralism; and (3) a succinct response to the main criticisms of poststructural theory. Deliberately short and to the point, this will be a welcome text for busy university students and scholars wanting to gain a rapid understanding of poststructural thought.

FORMAT: Kindle Edition eBook
PUBLICATION DATE: 28 October 2012

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Interrupting History

Parkes, R. J. (2011). Interrupting history: Rethinking history curriculum after ‘the end of history’. New York: Peter Lang.

Interrupting History Book CoverSince the emergence of postmodern social theory, history has been haunted by predictions of its imminent end. Postmodernism has been accused of making historical research and writing untenable, encouraging the proliferation of revisionist histories, providing fertile ground for historical denial, and promoting the adoption of a mournful view of the past. This provocative book re-examines the nature of the alleged ‘threat’ to history posed by postmodernism, and explores the implications of postmodern social theory for history as curriculum. Interrupting History will be of interest to curricularists and critical pedagogues around the globe, and to history educators at all levels of education. Making an important contribution to the struggle for critical and effective histories, it is a must-read text for those studying or teaching history today.


Counterpoints: Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education Series (No. 404)
General Editor: Shirley Steinberg

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Re-Theorizing Discipline in Education

Millei, Z., Griffiths, T. G., & Parkes, R. J. (Eds.). (2010). Re-Theorising Discipline in Education: Problems, Politics, & Possibilities. New York: Peter Lang.

Re-Theorizing Discipline in Education Book CoverFor over a century, teachers, parents, and school leaders have lamented a loss of discipline in classrooms. Caught between guidance approaches on the one hand and a call for zero tolerance on the other, current debates rarely venture beyond the terrain of implementation strategies. This book aims to reinvigorate thinking on discipline in education by challenging the notions, foundations, and paradigms that underpin its use in policy and practice. It confronts the understanding of discipline as purely repressive, and raises the possibility of enabling forms and conceptualizations of discipline that challenge tokenistic avenues for students liberation and enhance students capacity for agency. This book is an essential resource for university lecturers, pre-service and in-service teachers, policymakers, and educational administrators who want to re-think discipline in education in ways that move beyond a concern with managing disorder, to generate alternative understandings.

My individual contribution to this book, a chapter titled “Discipline and the Dojo”, explored the complex relationship between discipline, desire, and self-formation in the context of the martial arts dojo.

Complicated Conversation: A Book Series in Curriculum Studies (No. 34)
General Editor: William F. Pinar